Men Washing His Van

How to Clean Your Van for Coronavirus

At Mercedes-Benz of Boston Commercial Vans, we fully understand the concerns our clients have about exposure to COVID-19, or coronavirus. To avoid exposure to germs outside of their homes, many people in Somerville and the rest of Boston are wearing gloves, masks and sanitizing items they purchase on errands. What's easy to overlook, though, is that once those purchased items are loaded into their vehicle, they are then touching the interior. According to the World Health Organization, studies suggest that the coronavirus may live on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. That means that you should be sanitizing the interior of your van to kill any germs it may have collected on your last visit to the grocery store or pharmacy. 

Car cleaner wiping car door with rag

How Long Does Coronavirus Survive on Surfaces?

Your van's interior is comprised of different materials, including plastic, metal and leather in some situations. You'll find that when cleaning your van, you may need several different tools to clean these different surfaces correctly. According to the National Institutes of Health, the virus that causes COVID-19 is stable for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic or stainless steel. Another study suggests that similar viruses can live on "inanimate surfaces like metal, glass or plastic for up to nine days."

Cleaning the interior of the car with a microfiber cloth

What's the Best Way to Sanitize My Van's Interior?

Before sanitizing your Sprinter or Metris, be sure to wash your hands. Do you have disposable gloves? It's smart to use them while cleaning. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work well for sanitizing your vehicle. Just be sure to read the product's label to make sure it's safe for the surface you're planning to use it on. Keep disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer in your van at all times, so you can quickly wipe things down as needed.

Worker washing of interior leather seats

How to Clean Leather Seats in My Van

If you have leather seats in your van, then you probably know that you'll need a special cleaner just for them. No matter what cleaner you use, make sure to test it on a hidden area to ensure it works properly for the material on your seats. If you don't have leather cleaner, simply mix two parts vinegar with one part water to make your own. After that, apply a leather conditioner if possible.

How to Disinfect Surfaces in My Van

The most important areas of your Metris or Sprinter to keep clean are the dashboard and the steering wheel. Bacteria tends to collect in these spots, as air is cycled throughout the vehicle. To clean your dash, simply use soap and water. If you have cleaning and disinfecting products on hand that are specifically designed for your van, feel free to use them. However, combining dish soap and water is the easiest and most convenient option, and it will work on a variety of surfaces. If you do decide to use chemicals, make sure to test them on an inconspicuous spot first to ensure they work properly. Also, it's important to remember that certain chemical combinations can be harmful. For more information on what cleaners not to use or mix, read this article from Consumer Reports.

When you’re cleaning, be sure to pay close attention to high-touch surfaces, including:

  • Door Handles
  • Door Buttons
  • Key Fob
  • Steering Wheel
  • Inside Door Buttons
  • Seat Belts
  • Gear Shifters
  • Touchscreens
  • Buttons on the Dash
  • Buttons for Lights
  • Buttons for Windshield Wipers
  • Glove Compartment

Do I Need to Disinfect My Van's Exterior?

Because of the sun, wind, rain and other weather elements, germs are less likely to live on the exterior of your van. That being said, it's still smart to clean areas you touch most frequently, including the door handles, handle buttons and gas cap.

Are There Disinfectants I Should Avoid Using in My Van?

If you have leather seats in your van, then you probably know that you'll need a special cleaner just for them. No matter what cleaner you use, make sure to test it on a hidden area to ensure it works properly for the material on your seats. If you don't have leather cleaner, simply mix two parts vinegar with one part water to make your own. After that, apply a leather conditioner if possible.

Here at Mercedes-Benz of Boston Commercial Vans, we want to do our part to help educate our clients and keep them safe and healthy during this difficult time. If you have any questions about van care or need assistance, please don't hesitate to reach out to our Sprinter and Metris dealership in Somerville, MA.